An eating disorder is a mental health condition that can have severe and even fatal consequences. There are many misconceptions surrounding eating disorders i.e. that you have to be underweight to have an eating disorder, or that eating disorders only affect women.

To help you understand the complex and serious nature of eating disorders, here are some key facts you should know about eating disorders.

There are several different types of eating disorders

When it comes to eating disorders, most people automatically think of anorexia nervosa and imagine a severely underweight person. While anorexia is a serious and fairly common eating disorder, there are several other eating disorders that you should be aware of. For instance, binge eating is the most common eating disorder in the United States according to the National Eating Disorders Association.

Other common types of eating disorders include bulimia nervosa, purging disorder, and pica. These conditions all have various symptoms and signs, so it’s important to educate yourself on the different types of eating disorders. For instance, people suffering from bulimia nervosa or purging disorder may appear to be a healthy weight.

This can make identifying the condition extremely difficult. Whereas, anorexia nervosa is associated with sudden or severe weight loss, which makes the condition more noticeable. However, suffers may try to conceal weight loss by wearing baggy clothes to hide their body.

Eating disorders can be overcome with treatment

Treatment for eating disorders is often delayed as sufferers are resentful to go above their ‘ideal weight’ or admit that their behavior around food is abnormal. Often, eating disorders go unnoticed for many months or even years, as sufferers can hide the condition from family and friends. This is particularly true when it comes to eating disorders like bulimia, as the individual may appear to be a normal weight. However, once treatment starts it is usually extremely effective.

Treatment for eating disorders includes therapy, clinic stays, and medication. Eating disorders are complex and treatment must address the physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. The road to recovery can be lengthy, but many people make a full recovery once they commit to recovery and their treatment plan. You can find plenty of useful advice on the treatment of eating disorders by visiting edentreatment.com.

Anyone can develop an eating disorder

Many people wrongly assume that eating disorders are an issue faced by young women. However, while a large percentage of sufferers are women, people of all ages and genders can develop an eating disorder. In fact, eating disorders in males are on the rise and increasing numbers of men are developing eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder.

Research by eatingdisorderhope.com found that a massive 40% of people with binge eating disorders are now male. Many people also assume that eating disorders run in families or are caused by childhood trauma. While it’s true that genetics and poor childhood can increase your chances of developing an eating disorder, you should be aware that anyone is at risk. For that reason, everyone must be aware of the signs, symptoms, and health consequences of eating disorders and equipped with the knowledge to protect themselves from this devastating mental illness.